Friend, not food.

If you think I’m crazy enough to risk my life to swim with sharks just for the hell of it…than you’re exactly right.

Did you know that July 14 was Shark Awareness Day? Me either (until a few days ago).

In celebration of Shark Awareness Day, I got up close and personal with these amazing animals at Discovery Cove  in Orlando. I participated in testing out a new product that’s now available to Discovery Cove guests – Shark Swims.

Guests have always been able to view the sharks, but now they can swim freely among five species: Pacific blacktip, reef whitetip, nurse shark, zebra shark, and a spotted wobbegong. (Fun Fact – I learned that there are well over 500 species of sharks during my swim). 

The session is divided into two interactions – a meet and greet and the actual swim. Not going to lie, putting on a FULL (black) wetsuit, gloves, and booties to swim was a bit hot and uncomfortable. The water is kept at a cool 70ish degrees and I was ready to cannonball into the water, but I wasn’t trying to get ate…..so floating on my stomach as I was told for my meet and greet worked.

We met with Vertigo, who I instantly claimed as my favorite because of the leopard printed spots and I love leopard print.

Shark swim at Discovery Cove

Did you know shark’s can basically sense fear? They have electric receptors that can sense the tiny electric fields emitted by living things – so basically, Vertigo felt my heart beating out my chest.

Shark swim at Discovery Cove

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Then we got to touch Vertigo’s belly, which was softer and squisher. We also watched her being fed. Vertigo eats by sucking in the food at a really fast rate which makes for a loud snapping noise.

Discovery Cove Shark Swim

Watching Vertigo eat. We kept our hands out the water so they wouldn’t be mistaken for food.

We got to ask some questions while the other group swam on the other side of the pool. Then it was time to snorkel up for our swim.

The meet and greet takes place in the shallow end of the pool and the swim is in the deeper part and requires lifejackets.

I don’t want to give too much away…..BUT IT WAS AWESOME! The sharks are still curious about other people, so don’t be alarmed if a smaller shark swims RIGHT underneath you (even though I was shooketh when it happened to me).

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The Shark Swim experience is available to Discovery Cove guests ages 10 and older. The cost is $85 per person. For every shark swim package purchased, SeaWorld will donate 5% of the proceeds to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) in support of shark conservation and research.

Would you swim with sharks? Or have you swam/snorkeled with other sea animals before? I want to hear about it! 

xx

JayMo

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